The white smoke was seen rising from a cabin in Minnesota. The "leaders" of the emergent conversation gathered in conclave, and chose a "National Director" (click here). But that was only the first of four announcements - and I can hardly wait for the next three!
Now we can start distinguishing being emergent (the original, institutional-less conversation, small "e") and Emergent (the institution born out of the conversation, big "E").
I'm depressed about this.
My first encounter with the emergent conversation was in Chattanooga several years ago when three of us went from our community and were blown away to find others were thinking like us! We never patterned ourselves after some supposed template, didn't start our community based on the conversation, and our worship is not as cool and "out there" as many other places. Our community also includes many people in their 60's even into their 90's - which I suspect is why we don't look exclusively pomo. Our community worship reflects who we are, which is diverse, not some specific group we are trying to evangelize (like gen-Xers).
Our commonality with emergent wasn't in externals, but in theology, the journey, the searching, and the non-institutional/non-leadership community emphasis. It was exciting to find like-minded seekers. I not saying we don't have anything in common any more, but I think our paths are diverging somewhat. That part is disappointing. I hope, like one of the bright spots of the Christian heritage I grew up in, they have their own "Last Will andTestament of the Emergent Leadership Council".